Parents’ Complaint: Mr. Teacher, Why Are You Not Raising My Kids Right?

Yesterday I read a post on DNAinfo about how some parents were being banned from having anti-bullying groups at a school in the Bronx. I know the area quite well because that’s where I grew up.

Personally, I find the term “bullying” as a gross understatement in these circumstances. During my youth I saw many friends shot and killed, I saw enemies shot and killed, stabbed, beat up, and I myself was at the wrong end of a gun many times as a kid. Usually because someone wanted my jacket, my sneakers or they wanted my bus pass. I even had the distinct honor of being a human shield for a drug dealer during a “run by shooting”. I call it a “run by shooting” because this guy “ran” towards a car, grabbed me from behind, and then he started shooting at the vehicle and its occupants. This is like the opposite of a drive by shooting; “run by shootings”, pretty awesome stuff don’t you think?

So yes, as far as I’m concerned the term “bullying” is an understatement here, this isn’t someone asking you for your lunch money or teasing you about being nerdy. This is real life and death we are talking about.

Here is my gripe with this whole situation, you know, besides the fact that I could have been killed at any point by an ILLEGAL GUN OWNER. As I read this article and the associated comments I saw that the teachers were being attacked and blamed by at least one of the readers. Now mind you, I have my problems with some teachers, we have plenty to complain about when it comes to public education in the inner cities. You have the infamous rubber rooms, the unions, and so on. Teachers not raising my kids “right” is not one of my complaints, that would be my job. Isn’t it?

Though judging from at least one of the commentators that I read, some people feel differently. Take a look at this gem by a guy named Walt:

Teachers can’t or won’t control the children, and they then blame the parents for the teacher’s failure! This is just pathetic. If these teachers won’t do their jobs, they should be fired and replaced by teachers who will. This article simply exposes the complete incompetence and arrogance of the teachers as well as the administrators above them and the rest of the educational establishment in which these schools function. And the current teachers, who are NOT in control of their classrooms should be prosecuted for fraud in that they purport to be doing their jobs in order to get paid but in fact do not do their job and are thus fraudulently obtaining their salaries and benefits. And their teacher’s union, prosecuted also for aiding and abetting as well as conspiracy!

Wow, that Walt is something special. Let me tell you guys, with the exception of a few animal species, when it comes to kids it is the parents job to raise them. It is NOT the teacher’s job to raise your kids. Children begin school around the age of 5, more or less depending on the program. By 5 years old the parents have either done a good job in preparing their kids for school, or they have done a lousy job laying down that much needed ground work. It is not up to the teacher to take a kid that has been raised terribly and to try and correct years of bad behavior. The fact that anyone would imply this is only indicative of the current political climate.

Remember when Melissa Harris-Perry did that commercial where she said “children do not belong to their parents, but are instead the responsibility of the members of their community”. Who could forget that gem? Well it seems that Walt and others like him believe this nonsense.

We all know what the problems in these communities really are. As a Latino that grew up in “the hood”, perhaps my saying this will be viewed as a “betrayal”, “putting down my own kind”, or “selling out”? Do rest assured that I have not forgotten where I come from, I am who I am and that has not and will not change.

Consequently one of the things that I am not is “blind”. I am not blind to the facts and reality. The problems here begin at home and clearly stem from bad parenting. These kids come from broken homes, single parent homes, teenage parents who are kids themselves, or homes where the parents just don’t care and they don’t give a crap about what these kids are doing.

Mind you, I’m not knocking all single or teen parents, some do care and try their best despite terrible circumstances. My mother for instance did an outstanding job raising me as a single mom in a really bad area, and look at how great I turned out.

Yet not everyone makes the decisions I made. In those streets you are either a victim, or a victimizer. I had to play the role of victim many times so that I could do the right things and get out of there in one piece. The few times I took the route of victimizer, I realized that I came one step closer to prison, death, or worst. Most of my peers did not realize this and they continued towards a life of crime; ultimately as expected many ended up in prison, dead, or in some cases worst. This happened because they were raised by the streets, the local thugs and gangs, instead of by mom and dad. This is the same problem facing these communities today.

Melissa Harris says the kids belong to the community, and unfortunately she’s right. These communities have a hold on many of our kids, and these communities are run by the street gangs, the drug dealers, and other punks. What we need to do as parents is take responsibility and take our children back.

Anti-bullying groups will not work in these neighborhoods because this isn’t bullying in the traditional sense of the word. This is straight up gang banging and criminal activity the likes you encounter in a prison yard. Parents, take your kids back, raise them yourselves, it is not up to the government, the teachers, or the community, it is up to you! Don’t you dare blame someone else for not raising your kids properly!

Image: Courtesy of The Victorianist blogspot

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